Editor’s Note: James Fogarty is a man of many talents. He dabbles in various types of metal in his bands In The Woods, Old Forest and Jaldaboath, ranging from symphonic metal to black metal to even psychedelic/stoner metal. Through his project EWIGKEIT, they re-released, restored and reproducted the album “Land of Fog” to celebrate its 20th Anniversary from the initial release date. James Fogarty cites Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, Black Sabbath, and Opeth as major influences in his music. In this interview with Madness To Creation, James Fogarty of EWIGKEIT discusses the reissue of the album and mental health awareness. Fans can find EWIGKEIT at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: Take us into the upcoming re-release of “Land Of Fog”, how do you approach a song differently with EWIGKEIT as opposed to your other projects?
James: With Ewigkeit, the way of writing a song are the lyrics has changed literally with almost every album. With the early stuff, it was largely led by keyboard ideas, which was (and still is) unusual for Metal. By the third album, the riffs & lyrics were entirely provoked by changes in state of mind. There wasn’t a single song written on Land of Fog which was put together without being stoned out of my head. I think that leads to the schizophrenic nature of the music. It’s still a very special album for me ; although such disregard from my own mental health certainly had a lasting negative impact, it’s a very special album.
Madness To Creation: Describe EWIGKEIT using a movie title.
James: Hmm – that’s a difficult one, as it’d also change with each album. As we’re talking the heady brain-fogged times of Land of Fog (which I wrote & recorded in 2000), I’d say that Reefer Madness is a pretty apt description.
Madness To Creation: Take us into the single for “Super Sonic Blue Thunder”, what is the story behind that song?
James: Well – you know I’d say that IF there was a story, then it’s certainly in the world of archetypes and deep symbolism. You could alternatively say that the lyrics are totally ambiguous and a collection of nonsensensical rubbish (but is that so different from most Metal ?). However, in order for me to actually be able to access that train of thought again and get to the bottom of it, I’d need to be spaced out of my head to such an extent, that it’d lead to total chaos in my life and I’d be without a job and homeless within months. So, I think I’d rather leave it’s meaning entirely up to the experience of listener ; that’s where the true meaning comes from, and where the danger lies..
Madness To Creation: What have you learned most from the original release of “Land of Fog” in 2000 as opposed to now as a musician?
James: I learned some VERY important lessons as a musician around the time of writing Land of Fog. Primarily, these were regarding the importance of creativity and to disregard of any established rules about what is permissible. Challenge your own & other’s perception of what you can do within the style of music you are operating in or the art you are creating ; there are NO rules, other than those which you confine yourself with.
Madness To Creation: Madness To Creation focuses on mental health awareness. What gets you through and what advice do you have for our readers?
James: I would honestly say that the times around and the process of creating Land of Fog CAUSED a lot of mental health problems for myself ; this was around the advent of the initial availability of super strong skunk weed, which could easily be consumed without tobacco in large quantities. That isn’t good for ANYONE an will lead to serious issues and psychosis in the short-term and anxiety in the long-term. It will also lead you into circles which are best avoided. I would advise anyone who has a propensity toward melancholia or any other existing disorders to seriously consider if they should be toying with the delicate balance of their brain chemistry. This is, for the most part, creative people ; unless your parents are loaded and you don’t have to worry about rent etc, it’s probably best leave the illegal substances to a minimum. Personally, these days I have to take a permanent low-maintenance dose of SSRI and avoid smoking even relatively light hashish. With the daily stresses of life, beer is enough for me these days (and I probably self-medicate a bit too much with even that)…
Madness To Creation: What else would you like to add about EWIGKEIT and where can people find you?
I’d say that the back-catalogue and continuing work of Ewigkeit is pretty wide in scope – it’s probably best to check out a few different releases before you can get a good grasp of what it’s really about.
You can find MOST of the releases on Spotify etc. With the EXCEPTION of the 2 releases I did for Earache records (much like Carcass and other bands who have fallen foul of those total MORONS). I’ll be addressing that in the near future…
You can find me online at fb.com/EwigkeitOfficial
Also, be sure to check out my other work with In The Woods, Old Forest, The Bombs of Enduring Freedom, Jaldaboath, Orcrypt and a few others 😉
And there you have it! Be sure to follow Ewigkeit on Facebook for all the latest news and happenings!